SUPER JUNIOR – 'PLAY'
1. Black Suit
2. Scene Stealer
3. One More Chance
4. Good Day for a Good Day
6. The Lucky Ones
8. Spin Up!
9. Too Late
10. I Do
It's been more than two years, but Super Junior is at last back again, ready to 'Play.' This is their 9th full Korean album, chock full of 10 new songs. Super Junior's "Black Suit" has already slain iTunes charts in 23 countries, and their 7th concert series sold out within minutes. It takes zero detective skills to figure out that this is likely one of the most anticipated comebacks of 2017. I'm a bit late with this review but better late than never right?
The album kicks off with the title track "Black Suit," and this sounds every bit as awesome as any of their songs from the past. I like how it starts out suspenseful, and the synth stabs during the chorus are golden, and only make it pop more. I like "Scene Stealer" even more than the title track. If the first track felt a bit muted, this song is loud and unrestrained. Generous rap portions make this song feel very hip-hop. "One More Chance" has kind of a "Growing Pains" vibe to it, except that the chorus is very uplifting and billowy. It's acoustic soft pop, and I think I like the second verse better than the first, especially the way it leads to the rap part.
"The Lucky Ones" is one of those expansive, epic-feeling tunes with that inspiring chorus. The boys haven't lost any of their skills -- they slay the harmonies here. "Girlfriend" is okay, it is a serviceable pop tune, but the piano drags it down slightly. I think I would have preferred something else in its place. "Spin Up!" is SuJu's contribution to modern R&B, it has everything from the rap parts, the funky horns, and the falsetto. It's a fun song.
So it's got a couple tunes that fall flat, but that doesn't make it a bad album. A lot of LPs suffer from the same problem, so I'm not knocking points off for that. One of the things I liked about this one is they seemed willing to experiment with a hip-hop vibe. When done well, that always adds to an album in my eyes. And this is a strong release from Super Junior. They still have that "it" factor that endeared them to ELFs in the first place, and fans should be pleased.
The MV itself starts out in reverse, with a scene of chaos gradually arranging itself into some kind of order. And that's when we see it -- it's an auction, for an apparently high-ticket black suit. The winning bid is laid, the gavel strikes the podium, and that's when bedlam is loosed. But after the chorus, we turn back the clock again, and the employees (the band) are in the stock room, strategizing for the upcoming auction. Finally, we see past the pandemonium, but someone other than the buyer has an interest in that suit...
It's actually well-played. Anyone who has been to an auction knows that it's very little like they portray it in the movies, but the director makes this thing very watchable with the variable chronology, and the abrupt rewinds until the end. The chaos is aptly portrayed, with money flying everywhere, people falling and hiding, and tables capsizing.
The dancing is quite exciting to watch, with the boys slicing, bobbing, and gliding from place to place, always in sync. The choreo is one of the pleasures of watching boy bands, and Super Junior always brings it. The boys also looked sharp in those suits.
So did they do a good job? I think so. It's never boring, even on repeated watches. And a feat like that gets my mark of approval.